Skip to main content

Excavation at the Site of Seneferu's Pyramid

Published 1929

All rights are reserved by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum). Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting the Penn Museum Archives at 215-898-8304, or email

This film and all of the films in the Penn Museum collection are copyrighted by the Penn Museum, and are not in the public domain.

Producer UPMAA, Eckley B. Coxe
Audio/Visual silent, b&w


Paul Seidler, Camera and Editing.


"This is the only print of the Coxe Expedition of 1929-1930. Based on previously transcribed notes, the film contains scenes recording the Museum's Coxe Expedition to Meydum, Egypt. The Seneferu pyramid is located 4 miles west of the southernmost pyramid in a long line of royal tombs extending down the Nile and 50 miles south of Cairo and was built in 2900 according to the film, however more recently points to 2700 BC as a more accurate date.

Titles are off center perhaps due to use of a parallelex viewfinder.


"Work of the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1929-1930"

Giza, Dashur and Seneferu pyramids from a train window.
Desert landscape surrounding Seneferu's pyramid.
Close up: pyramid showing its stepped core, outside casing of limestone having been removed years before.
(The core is 215 feet in height but with the outside casing it once stood 40 feet higher, as indicated in the following scale model).
Exteriors: The entrance passageway of the north face, diagrammed in a cross section of the pyramid showing that it leads to a sarcophagus chamber.
The inside, shaft and chamber (all of which appear to be empty) are photographed.
Board members Mr. and Mrs. John S. Jenks are shown on a visit to watch workmen measure and record the outside measurements.
Workmen busy excavating a great tomb nearby that may have been the tomb of Seneferu's mother and father (Cheops).
A diagram showing this tomb.
A tunnel is discovered that appears to be a fake entrance to mislead grave robbers.

Other graves are uncovered that contain stones of such great size that they need to be broken up in order to remove them.
(Reel 2)
A mummy is uncovered, removal of dirt with great care.
Mummy cases being moved.
Two staff members unwrap a mummy.
A staff Christmas party is held.
Aerial shots of the pyramid and the site.
Workmen clear the temple and the causeway while one workman does a dance.
(Reel 3)
Workmen build a road to the site to be used by the Belgian Queen, Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876–1965).
Dancing Arabian horses compete for prizes.
Payday, and a farewell party for the staff is given by the workers.


There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write a review.